Rare visitor: brown pelican spotted

  • An adult brown pelican is seen in Bermuda in 2014 (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)

    An adult brown pelican is seen in Bermuda in 2014 (Photograph by Andrew Dobson)


Birdwatchers have spotted an unfamiliar sight in the skies around Bermuda.

Karen Border, the president of the Bermuda Audubon Society, confirmed that a brown pelican was visiting the island.

She added: “It has been seen by a few Audubon members, mainly off the North Shore.”

Ms Border said brown pelicans were occasional visitors to Bermuda.

She added: “We get them every two or three years or so.”

Brown pelicans are grey-brown with yellow heads and thin white necks.

The large seabirds have very long bills with an elastic throat pouch used to capture fish.

They can measure up to five feet in length with a wingspan of up to 7½ feet.

Females are slightly smaller than male birds.

Ms Border said the bird was a common sight along the eastern coast of the United States.

She added: “This one was probably just blown out here in one of the recent gales.” The brown pelican is found along the Atlantic Coast from Nova Scotia, Canada, down to the mouth of the Amazon River.

They also live on the Gulf and Pacific coasts.

Ms Border said the Bermuda bird should be able to fend for itself before it flies home.

She added: “Hopefully it is still around and will be included in the Christmas bird count.”

The annual count is scheduled to take place today.

The brown pelican is the national bird of three Caribbean countries — Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Sint Maarten. It is also the state bird of Louisiana.

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Published Dec 29, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 29, 2018 at 8:01 am)

Rare visitor: brown pelican spotted

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